A Bit Of History
Arroz caldo is one of the most popular merienda (snack) foods in the Philippines. The name come from the Spanish but the dish probably came from Chinese cuisine as this food is similar to congee.
This is basically rice porridge with chicken and ginger. It is served with toppings of boiled eggs, sliced green onions and fried minced garlic and drizzled with the juice of calamansi (Philippine local citrus). People also eat it for breakfast and it is commonly served in streetside carinderias.
One of the things I missed right away when I moved to the US, thankfully, it is easy to make with local ingredients. The calamansi can be replaced with lemons and my memory takes me back to the Philippines, savoring this soup with my brothers and sisters at home.
I made this arroz caldo using the Instapot but it can be easily transferred to the stovetop. I used wild rice instead of Jasmine rice because it has more fiber and nutrients and does not convert to sugar in the body as easily as Jasmine rice.
Instapot Filipino Arroz Caldo Recipe with Wild Rice
This is basically rice porridge with chicken and ginger. It is served with toppings of boiled eggs, sliced green onions and fried minced garlic and drizzled with the juice of calamansi (Philippine local citrus).
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp fish sauce can be replaced with 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp annato powder Note 1
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 4 skinless chicken thighs
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice
- 3 medium boiled eggs sliced for garnish, Note 2
- 2 green onions sliced thin
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 pinch saffron optional but really adds to the flavor
To cook chicken and make broth:
In a medium sized pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil and add chicken. Cook for 7 minutes.
Take out the chicken and shred with a fork.
Strain the broth and set aside.
To cook arroz caldo:
Add cooking oil to Instapot. Set to Saute.
Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. add ginger and cook 1 minute more.
Add chicken, 2 tbsp fish sauce and annato. Saute for 3 minutes.
Add broth, rice, saffron. Stir. Cover Instapot and seal. Set to Manual and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
Allow natural release to remove the pressure, open the lid.
Set to saute. Stir and taste. adjust seasoning until you are satisfied. If you want a thinner soup, add broth or water and let simmer. If you want a thicker soup, let it simmer for a few minutes.
Serve soup in bowls with sliced boiled eggs, fried garlic and green onions.
Drizzle with lemon juice or calamansi juice.
Note 1: Annato adds yellowish color which looks more appetizing Note 2: Boil for 6 minutes for soft boiled eggs and 8 minutes for hard boiled eggs.
You will notice that the wild rice results in a darker arroz caldo but the taste and consistency is the same as Jasmine rice. You can also use brown rice for this instead of wild rice. Using chicken with bones results in a tastier broth. Similar to any other chicken soup, this dish has therapeutic properties and will be good for somebody with a cold or flu especially during the wintertime.
It is comfort food at its finest and simplest. Be well.
Kain Na! (Let’s Eat).